11 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rick Braun set aside his smooth grooves for 2011’s aptly titled Sings with Strings. While that effort was no embarrassment, the trumpeter goes back to his funky, mostly instrumental sweet spot with Can You Feel It. He also brings some pretty heady players along with him—Dave Koz joins the fun for the soulful standout “Get up and Dance,” while Brian Culbertson adds piano to the uptempo “Back to Back.” Jeff Lorber cowrites both “Delta” and “Radar” and plays guitar and keyboards on them too. Braun is even joined by Euge Groove on Al Green’s “Take Me to the River” and the horn-driven “Dr. Funkenstein,” with American Idol's Elliott Yamin lending his vocals to the former. But despite this revolving door of personnel, Braun and coproducer Bud Harner make the chemistry sound as natural as a working band. The two also exercise a distinct sense of taste, eschewing the dated production sheen of most smooth jazz efforts in favor of something closer to timeless R&B.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rick Braun set aside his smooth grooves for 2011’s aptly titled Sings with Strings. While that effort was no embarrassment, the trumpeter goes back to his funky, mostly instrumental sweet spot with Can You Feel It. He also brings some pretty heady players along with him—Dave Koz joins the fun for the soulful standout “Get up and Dance,” while Brian Culbertson adds piano to the uptempo “Back to Back.” Jeff Lorber cowrites both “Delta” and “Radar” and plays guitar and keyboards on them too. Braun is even joined by Euge Groove on Al Green’s “Take Me to the River” and the horn-driven “Dr. Funkenstein,” with American Idol's Elliott Yamin lending his vocals to the former. But despite this revolving door of personnel, Braun and coproducer Bud Harner make the chemistry sound as natural as a working band. The two also exercise a distinct sense of taste, eschewing the dated production sheen of most smooth jazz efforts in favor of something closer to timeless R&B.

TITLE TIME
4:06
4:26
4:34
4:07
4:25
4:57
4:11
5:35
3:52
4:38
4:12

About Rick Braun

A native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, trumpeter Rick Braun first surfaced as a member of the jazz-fusion outfit Auracle, formed while he was a student at the prestigious Eastman School of Music. After two LPs the group disbanded, and Braun turned to songwriting, scoring a hit with REO Speedwagon's "Here with Me"; in time he directed his focus to contemporary jazz, issuing his solo debut, Intimate Secrets, in 1993. After touring with Sade, he returned in 1994 with Night Walk as well as the seasonal release Christmas Present. With 1995's Beat Street, Braun's popularity continued to snowball, with 1996's smash Body and Soul launching the NAC chart-topper "Notorious." A two-time winner of the Gavin Report's Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year award, he returned in 1998 with Full Stride. He also collaborated with Boney James on the 2000 release Shake It Up. Kisses in the Rain followed a year later, and Braun continued issuing albums throughout the decade of the 2000s, including Esperanto in 2003, Sessions, Vol. 1 in 2004, Yours Truly in 2005, RnR (a duo set co-led by saxophonist Richard Elliot) in 2007, and All It Takes in 2009. Braun offered up a change-of-pace recording in 2011 with the self-explanatory Sings with Strings, an album of standards featuring string charts by Philippe Saisse. In 2104, Braun returned to the groove-oriented instrumental smooth jazz of his early work with Can You Feel It. ~ Jason Ankeny

  • ORIGIN
    Allentown, PA
  • BORN
    July 6, 1955

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